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The Coastal Commission meeting in Fort Bragg to hear from Caltrans on its proposed geotechnical study to renovate or replace the Albion River Bridge. Some residents in Albion want Caltrans to keep the bridge in place and reportedly want the commission to say no to any geotechnical work before there’s an environmental review on the whole project. But the agency says it’ll be safer to replace the old bridge which would also be a smarter economical move due to old rusting bolts and cracking timbers so it would be more expensive to maintain than to replace. The argument over how to take care of the crumbling bridge has been ongoing for years. The Albion River Bridge was built in 1944 and is the only steel suspension bridge on the California coast now. The Coastal Commission meeting on the matter Wednesday as part of a three-day session in Fort Bragg.

Consideration by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to potentially change ordinance rezoning on two parcels of land in Ukiah. The property at 120 and 140 Feed Lot Lane about a mile and a half from downtown, covering about 1.2 acres. If approved it would change from Zoned Limited Industrial to General Commercial so it’s in line with the General Plan designation. The Daily Journal reports the county Department of Planning and Building Services has asked the Board of Supervisors to approve a rezoning after reviewing the proposal.

The firefighter from Utah killed while working on the Mendocino Complex fire will be honored by the Lake County Board of Supervisors. The meeting tomorrow morning in Lakeport can be seen online at the county website too. They’ll honor Draper City Fire Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett for his dedication, service and ultimate sacrifice in response to the Ranch fire. Burchett was killed by a falling tree during a retardant drop August 13th. The board also has to continue the proclamation for a local health emergency by the Lake County health officer due to the Pawnee fire and the Mendocino Complex fire, for which the board will also hear a status report.

A fire has grown several hundred acres in Napa County. The so-called Snell Fire is at 2,400 acres and 20-percent contained. The fire started Saturday by the Berryessa Estates subdivision close to Middletown. The fire’s threatening about 180 structures, but there’s been no structures damaged or destroyed so far. There are evacuations in place though on the west side of Berryessa Knoxville Road from Pope Creek Bridge to Lake-Napa County line, Snell Valley Road and all roads to Snell Valley, and Berryessa Estates. They have set up an evacuation center at Pope Valley Farm Center. No word so far on how the fire started.

The Knoxville Management Area in the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument is closed due to the Snell fire. The Ukiah office of the Bureau of Land Management closed the area temporarily including the Knoxville Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area, Northside Staging Area, Hunting Creek Campground and the Knoxville Area of Critical Environmental Concern. Officials say it’s to protect public land users from the active wildfire, to keep firefighters safe and shield natural resources. It’s all closed until further notice. The Cow Mountain Recreation Area was damaged badly in the Mendocino Complex fire and is also closed to all access. There are also several fire restrictions in place due to fire weather including no target shooting and a ban on all campfires and open flame.

The Gov. has signed an executive order to keep the state’s unique plants, animals and ecosystems safe due to a threat from climate change. Governor Brown’s order says there should be a more thoughtful and systemic approach to climate change considering the vast web of relationships that tie together the myriad elements of California’s ecosystems. Apparently there are more species of plants and animals in California than any other state in the country. The ecosystem includes about 650 species of birds, 220 mammals, 75 amphibians, 70 freshwater fish, over 100 marine fish and mammals and about 6,500 native plants, 2,000 or more are rare. So now the Department of Food and Agriculture and the Department of Fish and Wildlife will work to save existing plants and animals and restore and protect habitat across both working and wild places.

The Gov. signed a couple of bills blocking any new offshore oil drilling saying no to any pipeline construction in the state, or any infrastructure needed to transport oil and gas from federal waters to state land. State Senator Mike McGuire says the state has now drawn a line in the sand to block the Trump administration’s plans to open up new offshore oil drilling along our, “treasured coast” and he says the Gov. will therefore protect our $40 billion coastal economy, fisheries, and the environment.

A man with a lengthy criminal history accused of the rape and murder of six women in the 1970’s yelled out to the jury as his trial started he was not guilty. Rodney Halbower on trial for two murders in San Mateo County and Reno, NV. The deaths were called the Gypsy Hill Killings back then. The cold case heated up in 2014 when Halbower who yelled “I have never raped or murdered in my life!” to the jury Friday, was arrested. His outburst led to his lawyer requesting a mistrial. But the prosecutor argued the outburst was staged. The Judge said no and the trial continues.

Groups trying to keep California’s health-care system in place want Governor Jerry Brown to sign a Senate Bill to limit short-term insurance plans, called skinny plans. The Trump administration allowing the plans for three years to increase competition and offer a lower-cost alternative. State Senator Ed Hernandez, who authored SB 910, says the plans are "junk insurance" that’ll rob consumers of important protections.

Cut 84345 :15 "They don’t realize that they can get kicked off with a pre-existing condition. There’s no max amount of out-of-pocket expenses. If they get some kind of devastating health condition, it could lead them into bankruptcy, so I don’t think it’s in the best interest of the state of California."

Tag: The short-term plans are exempt from the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, so many don’t cover mental health, maternity or pediatric care. Supporters say plans could lure young, healthy people out of the Covered California insurance market so there would be older, sicker people in the risk pool which would drive premiums sky-high. Brown has until September 30th to sign the bill, veto it, or let it become law without his signature.

Second Cut: Brown also is considering a bill to limit association health plans, one to prevent eligibility restrictions to force Medi-Cal recipients to work, and another to safeguard A-C-A rules that require health plans to spend 80 percent of their premiums on health care. Hernandez says President Trump’s playing politics with people’s lives by undermining the A-C-A.

Cut 85345 :12 "I think it’s political sabotage to destabilize the market. I think he’s playing to the base. At the end of the day, this is a system that’s working and I think it’s just pure politics to try to repeal it."

Tag 1: Republicans have tried and failed several times to repeal the A-C-A. However, they did pass the Tax Bill, which removed the federal mandate to buy insurance.

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has crews out clearing wildfire debris from the Carr Fire in Shasta County and the Klamathon Fire in Siskiyou County. It’ll be a two-phase cleanup with the leadership of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and local governments, with no out-of-pocket cost to homeowners. First the state Dept. of Toxic Substances Control will take out hazardous debris like asbestos, siding or pipe insulation, paints, batteries, flammable liquids, and other materials. Then CalRecycle contractors will take out contaminated soil, ash, metal, concrete, and other debris to restore properties to pre-fire conditions.

A grocery store employee in Ohio busted for eating thousands in lunch meat. The alleged thieving took place over an eight year period. Police say as much as $9,200 eaten in ham at a Giant Eagle near Canton, Ohio. The local Sheriff says there’s been no arrest just a report written up so far. That was sent to the prosecutor’s office to decide if any charges would be filed.

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Lesley Lotto
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